Chinese buyers were responsible for 27 percent of new build house purchases in central London last year, according to a local real estate agency, as the city becomes an increasingly popular property investment destination for wealthy Chinese investors.
Statistics from British real estate firms show that the number of Chinese investors entering London’s housing market is growing at a faster pace than those from any other country.
In the first half of 2013, house buyers from the Chinese mainland reportedly spent a total of 170 billion pounds in real estate deals in the capital city.
Real estate adviser Savills said in its July report that Chinese buyers were responsible for the purchase of 27 percent of new build homes in prime London last year, making them the largest single purchasing group by volume.
James Trimble, director of Winkworth Estate Agents, also said that, as Asian buyers become more dominant London’s property market, Chinese investors are showing a particularly strong presence.
“Look at London, central London market, majority of those people coming into prime central London are actually not English buyers. They are actually buyers coming from Asia,” he said.
“We did a bit of research last year, 60 percent of our buyers across central London were from Asia. But if we looked at the snapshot as a whole, 27 percent of those international buyers were actually Chinese,” the director added.
Meanwhile, Ice Wang, head of Winkworth’s China desk, said Chinese buyers generally choose to purchase property in London for one of three main reasons.
“Some buy houses because their children have come to the country to study, some are planning to emigrate to the UK, while some simply purchase property for investment purposes as rents are high and home prices are rising steadily in London,” she explained.
According to Wang, the monthly rent for a three-million-yuan home in Beijing is around 3,000 to 4,000 yuan, but in London that amount could surge to 15,000 yuan for a house of the same value.
The growing portion of Asian buyers, Chinese in particular, in the UK property market has also helped boost the local construction industry and pushed up house prices.
“I think London as a global city now is attracting a lot of foreign investors, including a lot of Chinese. That in itself is pushing prices up again,” said Steve Turner, head of Media Relations of the Home Builders Federation (NBF) in London. “But I think people see the property market, particularly in London, as something worth investing in.”
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